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HR leaders still short-changed

Top HR executives in Singapore are still earning less than their peers in C-suite roles.

Local HR leaders earn an median annual salary of S$324,000, lagging behind CEOs (S$875,000), deputy CEOs and COOs (S$481,000), CEOs of subsidiary companies and divisional or regional heads (S$375,000).

However, HR’s salaries are on par with top local finance executives, a report by global management consultancy Hay Group found.

The survey, which analysed remuneration data from companies listed in the Singapore Exchange (SGX) for the financial year of 2011/2012, also found CEOs of financial institutions earned the most pay with a median annual salary of S$2.88 million.

The finance sector also saw the highest remuneration for key executives, who earned an median annual salary of S$958,000 - significantly ahead of those in property (S$552,000) and multi-industry sectors (S$525,000).

However, Kevin Goh, director of executive rewards at Hay Group, said it is important to note out of more than 400 publicly listed companies, only 263 responded – indicating a lack of transparency when it comes to executive remuneration.

Goh said the revised Code of Corporate Governance in the financial year 2013 will require companies to reveal the remuneration of every individual director and CEO, as well as the total remuneration paid to the top five key executives.

“Following the more transparent disclosure, we anticipate increased scrutiny on executive compensation from shareholders and regulators," he said.

"Remuneration committees now need to address the enhanced scrutiny from corporate governance activists with added emphasis on pay for performance and ultimately sustainable performance in the long-term."

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